NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Two weeks of courtroom debate over how much oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico after BP PLC’s 2010 rig disaster came to an end Friday _ marking the end of the second phase of a trial over the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers.
Government experts estimate 176 million gallons spilled into the Gulf. BP attorneys have urged U.S. District Judge Barbier to set the figure at nearly 103 million gallons.
The amount would be used to calculate any Clean Water Act penalties that London-based BP PLC would have to pay.
Using government figures, a maximum penalty if the company is found grossly negligent could total $18 billion. The company’s figures would cut that maximum to around $10.5 billion.
U.S District Judge Carl Barbier did not say when he will rule, but a quick decision was not expected. Barbier said he expects on Monday to set a schedule for post-trial briefings. And a third phase of the trial is yet to be held.
For the trial’s first phase, which ended in April, Barbier heard eight weeks of testimony about the causes of the April 2010 well blowout.
Barbier divided the second phase into two parts: Four days of testimony about BP’s efforts to cap the well followed by two weeks of technical and conflicting testimony by experts on estimates of how much oil spilled.
Clean Water Act penalties are the subject for the trial’s third phase, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.
The blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon at BP’s Macondo well happened on April 20, 2010. BP stopped the flow of oil after 86 days.
Oil fouled recreational Gulf beaches, barrier islands and delicate coastal wetlands. Fishing was shut down for months in some areas. The company has said it has paid more than $26 billion so far in spill-related expenses, including cleanup and claims
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past